How to Pick a Nursing College near Vicksburg Mississippi
Searching for the right nursing program near Vicksburg MS may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Vicksburg MS medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Vicksburg MS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Mississippi community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Mississippi colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Mississippi board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some Vicksburg MS students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Vicksburg MS area and throughout Mississippi and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Vicksburg MS, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Mississippi or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Mississippi school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Vicksburg MS healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Vicksburg MS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Vicksburg MS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Vicksburg MS?
Vicksburg is the only city and county seat of Warren County, Mississippi, United States. It is located 234 miles (377 km) northwest of New Orleans on the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, and 40 miles (64 km) due west of Jackson, the state capital. It is located on the Mississippi River across from the state of Louisiana.
The city has increased in population since 1900, when 14,834 people lived here. The population was 26,407 at the 2000 census. In 2010, it was designated as the principal city of a Micropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) with a total population of 49,644. This MSA includes all of Warren County.
The area which is now Vicksburg was long occupied by the Natchez Native Americans as part of their historical territory along the Mississippi. The Natchez spoke a language isolate not related to the Muskogean languages of the other major tribes in the area. Before the Natchez, other indigenous cultures had occupied this strategic area for thousands of years.
Choose the Right RN Course near Vicksburg MS
Choosing the right registered nursing program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Vicksburg MS.
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